Wilfried Zaha must look at Adnan Januzaj and wonder what went wrong.
When the England winger arrived from Crystal Palace last summer, he was the one tipped to be this season’s wonder-kid, and yet while the Belgian was thrust into the limelight at Manchester United, Zaha spent most of his time in the stands or – on rare occasions – the bench.
But given his cameo for loan club Cardiff City yesterday, it seems he is hoping to make up for lost time.
Zaha came off the bench with the Bluebirds behind against Norwich City, and duly set up the equalising goal.
And speaking after the match, his new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was full of praise.
“Zaha came on and made the difference,” the Norwegian told the BBC. “He has pace, power and technique. We just have to teach him defending.”
And there it was in a nutshell: the reason many people feel he is not yet a regular fixture in United’s match-day squad.
While his ability going forward is undeniable, there had been claims his failure to track back was the main reason Moyes was yet to give him more chances.
After all, a winger’s job is two-fold, working the flank in both directions.
Solskjaer has already identified that, stating quite simply that Zaha must learn how to defend. And if he can ultimately do so half as well as he bombs forward and creates problems for opposing defenders, he could become an outstanding winger.
United will certainly be hoping that is the case. And in Solskjaer, he is under the tutelage of an Old Trafford legend, who you sense will do everything he can to turn Zaha into the player he has the potential to be.
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